Category: Review

Data Space

Rather than hewing to a tight editorial voice, New York-based quarterly CLOG selects a singular subject for each issue and promises to unpack it “from multiple viewpoints and through a variety of means.” The most recent issue takes on the architectural typologies of the modern data center – both studying the physical reality of information infrastructure and imagining new figurations that might better reflect our digital age.

An overwhelming proliferation of short essays—44 features total in the slim, 127 page volume, each only a few pages in length—function as historical background, case study, research exercise, conjecture and pure architectural folly.  All, however, are predicated on the existence of a unique spatio-temporal relationship in our contemporary society between architectural form and digital technology.  As quoted early in the issue, Mies van der Rohe claimed in a 1950 address to IIT “wherever technology reaches its real fulfillment, it transcends into architecture…it is the crystallization of its inner structure, the slow unfolding of its final form.”

Read more at Rhizome.

“The Art of Video Games” Exhibition at Boca Raton Museum of Art

BOCA RATON, FL — The Boca Raton Museum of Art will be the first museum in the nation to host the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s groundbreaking  exhibition “The Art of Video Games,” following its successful  presentation in Washington, DC.

Running from October 24, 2012 through January 13, 2013, the Boca Raton  exhibition, presented by FMSbonds, Inc., explores the 40-year evolution of  video games as an artistic medium, focusing on striking graphics, creative  storytelling, and player interactivity. During its stay in South Florida, the Boca Raton Museum of Art will offer a variety of associated programs and  educational opportunities for visitors of all ages and interests.

Read the complete story at Computer Graphic World

The Nine Eyes of Google Street View

Yesterday, i went to the Saatchi Gallery to see Korean Eye and the most charitable comment i’m willing to make about the show is that it has a few good moments. However, the exhibition on the top floor, The Nine Eyes of Google Street View, is worth the trip to King’s Road.

The nine eyes are the cameras mounted on the pole on top of each vehicle that Google sent around the world 5 years ago. The technology of Google Street View has sparkled moments of deep humiliation, interest from the press photography community, privacy concerns and brilliant artistic reactions.

Read the complete article at We Make Money Not Art.

Book review – Reframing Photography: Theory and Practice

I’m guilty of a serious case of Judging a Book by its Cover. The indecisiveness in picking up a single image for the cover put me off. Once you open the book, i can’t say that the design gets much more appealing (although it is remarkably effective) but the content is literally mind-blowing. Bringing together rigorous theory, idiot proof ‘how to’ tutorials, artistic works that illustrate each concept and method might sound a bit too much for a sole book written by only two authors but somehow, it works. Theory, techniques and illustrative works complement each other efficiently.

The texts are extremely rigorous and well-researched but the authors never take readers’ knowledge of any concept nor reference for granted. Nothing is too pedestrian: the tutorials are extremely detailed and info boxes regularly pop up on the side to explain in few words what is a magic lantern, a chiaroscuro or an installation. Who is Lacan, why Bauhaus matters.

Read the complete article at We Make Money Not Art.

Book review: Visual Storytelling- Inspiring a New Visual Language

Publisher Gestalten says: Visual storytelling uses graphic design, infographics, illustration, and photography to convey information in the most elegant, entertaining, and informative way. Today, the creative scope of existing visual storytelling techniques is being expanded to meet the formidable challenge of extracting valuable news, surprising findings, and relevant stories from a daily flood of data head on. Visual Storytelling is the first book to focus solely on contemporary and experimental manifestations of visual forms that can be classified as such. The rich selection of cutting-edge examples featured here is put into context with text features by Andrew Losowsky and interviews with experts including the New York Times, Francesco Franchi, and Golden Section Graphics.

Read the complete article at We Make Money Not Art.

Book Review: Design Act – Socially and Politically Engaged Design Today. Critical Roles and Emerging Tactics

Design Act – Socially and Politically Engaged Design Today. Critical Roles and Emerging Tactics, edited by Magnus Ericson and Ramia Mazé, the founders of the DESIGN ACT project (available on amazon USAand UK.)

Publishers IASPIS and Sternberg Press write: Design Act: Socially and Politically Engaged Design Today–Critical Roles and Emerging Tactics is a project that presents and discusses contemporary design practices that engage with political and societal issues. Since 2009, the Iaspis project Design Act has been highlighting and discussing practices in which designers have been engaging critically as well as practically in such issues. Itself an example of applied critical thinking and experimental tactics, the process behind the Design Act project is considered as a curatorial, participatory and open-ended activity. Design Act has developed through an online archive, public events, and an international network.

The book is thus putting the spotlight on ‘Socially and Politically Engaged Design’. Design! With a bit of architecture thrown in. If you’re into activist, socially engaged art, you might find that many of the projects presented in this book are very reasonable and appropriate. They have less bite than the work of, say, Santiago Sierra (more about him tomorrow) but that shouldn’t be held against them. Because these designers are smart. And levelheaded enough to look for practical, witty solutions to very circumscribed issues. There’s no ‘Design will save the world!’ here.

Read the complete article at We Make Money Not Art.

Lessig’s One Way Forward

Lawrence Lessig’s new ebook One Way Forward is one of the most exciting documents I’ve read since I first found The Federalist Papers. One Way Forward is more of a long pamphlet than a book. It’s tempting to call it a “manifesto,” except that it’s so darned reasonable, and that’s not a word that comes readily to mind when one hears “manifesto.”

At the core of Lessig’s reasonable manifesto is the corrupting influence of money in politics, a corruption that predates the notorious Citizens United Supreme Court case. Lessig ascribes to this corruption the outrage that mobilizes both Occupy and the Tea Party, and he believes that the corruption can’t be ended until both the left and right realize that though they don’t have a common goal, they do share a common enemy, and unite to defeat it.

Read the complete article at BoingBoing.

3D features cannot save the ‘Phantom Menace’

History has not been kind to “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.”

“The Phantom Menace” was one of the most anticipated films of all time when it was originally released in 1999. “Star Wars” and its sequels made up one of the highest grossing franchises of all-time, and to call it a pop-culture phenomenon would be a gross understatement.

“Phantom Menace” – the first film of the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy – itself grossed an unbelievable $431 million upon its initial run in North America and still remains as the fifth highest grossing film of all time in the United States – not including inflation adjustments. Despite the impressive receipts earned by “Menace,” fanboys were left with a bad taste in their mouth after actually seeing the film.

It was a tough assignment for “Star Wars” fans to admit the faults of “Phantom Menace” at first, and most spectators initially refused to see the endless flaws of the film. Thirteen years later – and after two more film – “Phantom Menace” – is looked upon with disdain, and many consider it to be the worst entry in the six film saga. What was it about “The Phantom Menace” that did not work? To put it simply, everything.

Read the complete article at Daily Collegian.

Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D – review

Almost 13 years ago, George Lucas brought out the first of his hugely anticipated Star Wars prequel trilogy, and it turned out to be the biggest, dampest squib of modern times. It was a pop-culture calamity, a soulless, passionless film whose only real effect was to smudge the happy memories of the three originals. Now Phantom Menace is back, in 3D, and a new generation can feel their hearts sink at that baffling and boring opening, all about the trade blockade and taxation quarrel.

Read the complete article at The Guardian.

Book Review: Programmed Visions: Software and Memory

After “getting fit” and whatever else people typically declare to be their new year’s resolutions, this year’s most popular goal is surprisingly nerdy: learning to code. Within the first week of 2012, over 250,000 people, including New York’s mayor Michael Bloomberg, had signed up for weekly interactive programming lessons on a site called Code Year. The website promises to put its users “on the path to building great websites, games, and apps.” But as New Yorker web editor Blake Eskin writes, “The Code Year campaign also taps into deeper feelings of inadequacy… If you can code, the implicit promise is that you will not be wiped out by the enormous waves of digital change sweeping through our economy and society.”

If the entrepreneurs behind Code Year (and the masses of users they’ve signed up for lessons) are all hoping to ride the wave of digital change, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, a professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, is the academic trying to pause for a moment to take stock of the present situation and see where software is actually headed. All the frenzy about apps and “the cloud,” Chun argues, is just another turn in the “cycles of obsolescence and renewal” that define new media. The real change, which Chun lays out in her book Programmed Visions: Software and Memory, is that “programmability,” the logic of computers, has come to reach beyond screens into both the systems of government and economics and the metaphors we use to make sense of the world.

Read the complete article at We Make Money Not Art.